This whole trip was pretty random, after deciding we wanted to go to Prague and putting it up on Facebook to see if anybody fancied joining us Clari who at the time I knew from work but not very well said she’d be up for joining us. So here we are on a plane heading towards the Czech republic and Clari is heading in from Scotland to meet us there. It probably says a lot about us all that we barely know each other but we are all going on holiday together. Pretty random if anything but it could work out awesome, we are all renting a proper old (medieval by the looks) apartment together too so the main thing on my mind is I hope we all get on ok otherwise this could be a disaster. Only one way to find out though and we are heading towards it now at about 700mph.Some may be wondering why we chose Prague, as you can see by most of the blog I’m not known for my love of big cities but Prague is a medieval city that’s steeped in history. No hold on don’t start to doze off this place is far from boring, it’s not like visiting a huge English Heritage place if that’s what you are thinking. This place has a long and bloody past with an insane amount of stories of the supernatural, the place is ancient and mysterious and if you play computer games it looks like something straight out of dark souls or bloodborne The reasons that this place will be a perfect adventure for us all is because it’s got something we are all interested in. Andy is into his architecture, Clari finds history interesting (as far as I knew at this point) and I love any tales of the supernatural and anything gory as hell. There is so much to do in Prague you would struggle to experience everything, and when I look back on the experience there’s so much stuff we didn’t do I have to go back and see and try.

Landing in Prague

Our mate Clari steps off the plane from Scotland just as me and Andy are sitting down for our first native beer and we all nail a swift pint of more than decent beer before our very friendly taxi driver picks us up. He doesn’t speak a word of English and we didn’t expect him to either (it makes things more fun) however he does have pre printed cards in English with what we need to know on them, which is awesome!

Our taxi guy clearly loves his job and he tries to speak to us in his language too, to no avail and we are all surprised when he pulls out a bunch of cue cards with pictures and descriptions on them and energetically pointing at landmarks as we drive along. He drops us off at the renting place who give us keys, then sticks us back in the car and drives us into the city, stopping right at the beginning of King Charles bridge and right outside a huge medieval wooden door. We can’t go without leaving him a tip We have to leave him a tip because despite the language barrier he gets top marks for effort and enthusiasm. After we finally work out how to open it, we enter through the massive wooden door that looks like it should be on the front of an actual castle and we are instantly greeted first by darkness, the musty smell reminiscent of a museum and then with a huge set of stairs like something you’d see visiting the English Heritage sites. Getting into the apartment me and Andy opt for the bunks because we are used to each other and let Clari have the big bedroom. Its a really strange sleeping set up as the top bunk that I instantly claim actually has a kind of crows nest thing that looks straight through the wall and down onto the living room, but the place is pretty awesome!

King Charles Bridge

The King Charles bridge is incredibly atmospheric medieval bridge and probably one of the busiest landmarks in the city of Prague. It is, as you can imagine one of the most photogenic as well. It was built of sandstone around 1357 and the sides of the bridge are lined with thirty statues, one of which depicts St John Of Nepomuk. John worked for the Archbishop of Prague as his Vicar general and in 1393 he was tortured, murdered and then thrown off the side of the bridge into the Vltava river on orders of the king. Legend says said this is was for either preventing King Wenceslas IV’s plan to seize the property of a Kladrau Monastery, or because he refused to reveal secrets entrusted to him by the queen during a confession. It is said that that when night fell that five stars appeared in the sky over where he had met his end. Either way John was canonised as a saint which is why his statue has a halo of five stars around his head. And that’s also the statue I apparently forgot to take a picture of! Looking back at it I’m kicking myself that I didn’t have a better camera as one night I get some excellent shots of the bridge in the moonlight, looking like something out of a horror film, which suits it really considering some of the other stories about the bridge.

Museum of Prague Ghosts and Legends

Near King Charles bridge is this small museum which is worth a visit, because it’s fun and a bit corny yet in some areas of the exhibit also pretty creepy. And that is mainly because of the amount of ghost stories and tales of supernatural going’s-on this city actually has, unsurprisingly you may think considering it’s long and bloody history. There’s plenty of props to give it atmosphere of which the first one you encounter pretty much as you step in, the hard not to notice tall hooded figure, of death himself holding open a large book which is filled of course with ghost stories so many of which you could probably spend your day just reading the dudes book.

For example, every year on the 21st June apparently 12 headless men walk from the King Charles bridge to the town square where they were executed. It’s said these twelve had their heads displayed, hanging in iron baskets from the bridge because they were the most powerful of the executed, sending a message. There are also meant to be a water sprite named Perun who stalks the waters of the bridge and likes to drown men.

Another story is of the Prague Golem, Golem originating from a Hebrew word apparently meaning ‘incomplete’ as though it has life, it has no soul. a clay figure that in jewish Legend is said to be animated into life by the use of magic, called in times of persecution crafted by the Rabbi Loew in order to protect fellow Jews from the Holy Roman Emperor, ruler of Prague Rudolph II. The story goes that eventually the Golem became violent and the Rabbi is forced to stop it. The legend says that the Golem still exist’s, stored in the loft of the Altneushul and if the Jewish people of Prague are in danger again it can be called upon.

And these are just a few of the ghost stories of Prague there are tons of them! Another fun part of the exhibit is the musty underground street of ghosts where after descending down a spiral staircase into the darkness you are treated to a street like corridor with side rooms full of gravestones, demonic flying babies and a knight minus a head, not to mention the of course obligatory skeleton, like something out of a bad acid trip.

The Museum Of Alchemists And Magicians Of Old Prague

The alchemy museum is a weird oddity that discusses alchemy at length and with plenty of references to the occult / dark arts also. Probably the most interesting part of the exhibit is a rickety old tower in which the alchemists, John Dee and Edward Kelly were supposed to have lived. You may ask how did they get away with this kind of thing instead of being burnt as witches? Well, during the 16th century Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II was known for his fascination with the occult, so much so he actually funded the ‘research’ of sorcerers and alchemists including John Dee and Edward Kelly.

We have barely stepped foot in the museum before we come across one of the more memorable parts which is the room done out like what’s looks like a ritual being undertaken, the darkened walls are covered with white writing while the floor is decked with a glowing arcane sigil, surrounded by mannequins representing magicians, dressed in dark robes while their colleague is apparently half vanished through the ceiling, just his legs kicking as the devil takes him away, probably not on an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas. It’s either that or there’s another alchemist upstairs who just invented the vacuum.

Anyway having seen the everyday occurrence of someone being eaten by a ceiling we visit the infamous tower of John Dee and Edward Kelly. John Dee was an advisor and court astronomer of Queen Elizabeth I of England, practiced divination. Though he was an Alchemist he was said to be a brilliant mathematician but also a student of the occult, and a necromancer (a magician who could speak with the dead).However no matter how brilliant he was, he was seemingly duped by Kelly.

Edward Kelly was born close to home in fact, in Worcester, England. John Dee’s colleague and a self professed medium (somebody who could communicate with the dead and other spirits again in fact on one occasion it is recorded he helped Dee communicate with angels). He was also said to have been capable of transmutation or to us the turning of substances into gold. This is mentioned in the occult book, the Grand Grimoire, or the ‘Red Dragon’, which would have been very likely in the possession of the pair, amongst many others.

This reputed skill of transmutation would have brought much fame and it’s hardly surprising that Kelly gained Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II’s patronage and a good deal of personal fortune due to this. It’s also not so much of a surprise that Kelly was actually a highly experienced fraudster. Eventually he was actually imprisoned (more than once) by Rudolph II, who took more than enough time to see through his deception, and was said to have died attempting to escape. These days we are all well aware you can’t just randomly turn substances into gold, and if you could there would be piles of sacrificed goats all over the place.

As with many things in Prague you can’t escape being bit in the face with the musty dusty smell as you ascend the stairs into this large loft space where the pair where said to perform their unusual quasi scientific / occult experiments and Kelly likely performed his ‘communication with angels’ for Dee, maybe all the medicine bottles we see lining the dusty shelves are to symbolise the amount of drugs needed to make someone believe you are talking with angels on a regular basis. There’s also strange taxidermies, bones, scrolls, huge arcane looking books and all sort of creepy bric a bric line the many shelves inside the creaking tower. The museum is a proper oddity and much like nearly everywhere in Prague’s old town wouldn’t look out of place as a fantasy or horror movie set. Whatever my belief in the supernatural is as I walk about the scene I can’t help but think wether all the the Alchemists were con artist’s or did some discover useful, real things? Were some the predecessors to modern scientists? Regardless the tower is pretty creepy and they have done it out amazingly well.

Running Around Prague

So being as me and Andy are training for an Ultramarathon (which actually is not that unusual) we get up the one day and chuck on our gear, heading out for a run around Prague. The obvious direction to go is straight across the King Charles Bridge, dodging other tourists with people watching us wondering what the hell we are doing, it makes sense as well being as our apartment is literally the building attached to the thing. The good things with most of the city we run is that it is pretty flat. But this was the beginning of another epic adventure with just the training which you can see from the video below, in which you can see us legging it across said bridge, before ending up in Wales.

Prague’s Astronomical Clock: The Curse Of The Orloj

This can be found in the Old Town Square, howeverwe cannot visit or even see this place properly because it’s having renovations when we visit. disappointingly the building is covered with scaffolding and a fabric print of what the place would look like. Which isn’t quite the same. However like most places in Prague it would be surprising if it didn’t have a touch of the supernatural to it. People gather in crows every hour to watch the clock work. Work began on the creation on this clock around the 13th century and the clock features the figures of Greed, originally designed as a Jewish moneylender. However after WW2 for obvious reasons was altered. A Turk, who represents The possibility of Pagan Invasion, A figure with a mirror who represents Vanity and no party would be complete without Death himself as a skeleton who turns his hourglass, on the hour.

The legend begins with it’s supposed creator the clockmaker Mikuláš of the town of Kadaň. After designing the Orloj apparently his skill became so renowned he was approached by other nations asking that he design a clock for their town squares. Unfortunately even though nobody got to see his plans, the officials of Prague got word of this and to stop him building clocks for others that might be better than the Orloj they had him blinded to stop him creating something that was better than their clock. Having his sight taken from him drove Mikuláš mad and he was said to have taken his revenge on Prague officials, committing suicide by throwing himself into the vast gears of the clock seizing up the gears with his mangled body and cursing the Orloj in the process. It was said that anybody who tried to fix the clock would die or be driven insane. But as they say, it’s only a legend as far as we know. In reality the clock has been repaired many times and even modified

NB: Photo credit goes to to my shot was unfortunately covered in cloth.

The Absinthe Museum / Absinthery

What’s absinthe? A aniseed tasting usually very strong (anything from 50 to 80 percent proof) and usually deep emerald green spirit which is traditionally flavoured with wormwood extract. The drink has a mysterious history and is also known as the green fairy. It is an acquired taste and, even though I’m not a massive fan of aniseed the drink has always appealed to me. In fact once myself and my older brother drank a bottle between us (not a wise idea) and my mother found us about two days later passed out on my parents sofa, in a pile with me grasping a cuddly toy version of the puffer fish from finding Nemo. We must have visited the Disney store, at least I think we did. In fact I don’t think I’ve had many nights out where Absinth has been involved that something a bit crazy didn’t happen.

The absinthe fountain: One way of drinking Absinthe is with a Absinth fountain, which is filled with chilled water you also use an absinthe spoon ( a trowel shaped spoon) which all have their own design and can be quite ornate with a sugar cube placed on it which balances across the rim of your glass. You then slowly drip water from the fountain over the sugar which passes through the perforated spoon into the glass. This turns the absinth a milky green colour and sweetens it.

And there’s the more fun way: Which involves fire which is probably why I like it. Absinthe invites pretty easily being as it tends to be 50 -90 percent proof. Again using an absinthe spoon the sugar this time is soaked in a small amount of absinthe and igniting it. the melting sugar then drops into the absinthe, usually also igniting it. If so it makes sense to put the flame out before you drink it. The other way is to ignite the cube and when it melts tip it into your glass igniting all of the absinthe on purpose and creating a hot deep blue flame. My favourite thing about the fire method apart from the show of it is the intoxicating and fragrant fumes you breathe in when you drink. And the flavour is much better when spirit is warmed.

When we arrive we order few shot of absinthe of which there are a crazy amount to choose from while a guy (who according to the website is their very own pianist, how cool is that?) begins to play tunes on the piano. This bar stocks over 100 types of absinthe as well as many absinthe cocktails. It has a cool kind of steampunk vibe to it, and a king of pharmacy-esq look to it and it would be I expect a very fun place to spend an evening. The cocktails however are not the cheapest you will find, however after a few i doubt you would care, especially after some of what I’m about to try.

I ask the barwoman what she would recommend to try that’s unusual and I’m not disappointed when she brings out a bottle of ‘Absinthe Beetle’ which is exactly as it sounds, it’s an absinthe with a huge dead battle in the bottle. To be precise it’s the giant beetle known as ‘Eurycantha horrida’ or ‘the thorny devil walking stick’ Now I’m usually pretty game for trying new things so why not I’ll give it a go. Also this particular Absinth has a high level of thujone (which is meant to be a psychoactive chemical you won’t find in UK Absinthe) in it, as well as being 70 percent proof. Me being me I have to have it served on fire, and it is a lot more enjoyable than the rubbish absinthe we get here. In fact it’s put me in a great mood.

While I’m sipping my scary-ass psychoactive beetle drink I cast my mind over how apparently drinking too much Absinthe gained it’s own description which was ‘abstinthism’ apparently having the symptoms of hallucinating, being very excited and of course pretty drunk. We are going out for dinner later though so I think I’ll just try one more shot of it. At one point Absinthe was banned across most of Europe and the US as in 1905 in Switzerland a Swiss farmer murdered his family while extremely intoxicated and in a rage. Although he apparently drank two glasses of absinthe (as well as six glasses of cognac, seven glasses of wine two crème de menthes and also a brandy coffee) the blamer what hid did was placed on the consumption of Absinthe. The spirit became banned in Switzerland in 1910 after this due to a petition that was drawn up (apparently by a bunch of total idiots) with the ban occurring in America in 1912 and later France in 1915.

The Food

Goulash: It’s Eastern Europe of course this is the first place I try Goulash, and though its a bit cold it’s rich and warming. And the meat as super tender. The only thing I can’t get into are the dumplings (that look like sliced bread) they taste a bit strange. The best Goulash of Guylas I’ll try will be at a later date, in the Land Beyond The Forest, also known as Transylvania (Blog for that HERE)

Trdelník. These things are awesome, also known as ‘chimney cakes’ which are large, cone shaped pastries. It’s basically rolled dough wrapped round a stick, with a variety of flavours and coatings. It’s not specifically from here (not that anyone could tell you for sure where) but it’s very popular.

Things I’m Kicking Myself For Not Seeing

Taking the beer baths, prague is a place well known for it’s beers and you can actually pay to not only bathe in a bath of beer but to also drink it from your own personal beer tap at the same time. Personally this sounds like an easy way to drown in a shallow basin of liquid but it would definately make a cool obituary on your headstone. It is a popular thing it would seem also as there’s at least four of them in central Prague. We didn’t end up doing it as it turns out it is actually quite expensive, but I’d definitely fit it in when I eventually visit again! There’s also the old jewish cemetery and the Faust house…look them up!

Have you visited Prague , how did you find it? Tell us in the comments below!


I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

Thanks for reading and your support!

I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

Thanks for reading and your support!

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